Soundstreams is the latest local organisation to make the return to live performance with an audience with a concert Thursday night at St. Andrew’s Church titled A Love Song to Toronto. Three of the works on the program; Vivier’s Hymnen an dir Nacht and Lovesongs plus Christopher Mayo’s Oceana Nox, appeared in a streamed concert in November and I described them in some detail in reviewing that show. The performers were the same as well bar one. Pianist Serouj Kradjian replaced Gregory Oh . I don’t think my impressions of the pieces have changed much but I really appreciated the greater immediacy of a genuinely live performance.
There were two other works on the program. Both were Vivier pieces accompanied by film of dance choreographed by Michael Greyeyes. The first; Shiraz “Leora”, is a solo piano piece which requires great virtuosity and a range of techniques. It was very well played and I enjoyed it. I’m not really sure what the dance film added. Claudia Moore obsessively rearranging flowers and furniture just seemed a bit odd.
We also heard Vivier’s Cinq chansons pour percussion. Ryan Scott has described it as “famously unplayable, like an entire gamelan played by a single musician” which is good a description as I could manage. It’s quite long and meditative and was accompanied by a strangely static dance film. I found myself drifting in and out of it which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It did, though, have a bit of a feeling of a piece percussionists play to impress other percussionists.
And there we go. Soundstreams are off to tour Europe and when they come back it’s to celebrate the life of R. Murray Schaefer. More on that to come.